U.S. President Donald Trump has been embroiled in a trade war with other major countries around the world almost since the day he stepped into office, which has affected numerous industries in the country.
Even so, on Friday, Trump spoke about the impact of his presidency, and praised the “miracle” taking place in the steel industry, claiming it is “thriving” since he took office, according to a report by NBC News. He also stated that the industry had been “practically out of business when I came in to office as president,” as well as commended the “success of his trade and economic policies.”
Despite the president’s claims, industry data tells a very different story.
After Trump slapped steel with tariffs, the industry has experienced a 60 percent drop in share value over the past year, and experts believe that a “secular downtrend” is currently underway, and one that could “eventually reach a low in the single digits.”
“I don’t think it’s valid to say that it’s come roaring back. It hasn’t. It’s stopped falling,” said Jacob Kirkegaard, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “Profitability has increased, but this hasn’t meant that tens of thousands of American steel workers suddenly have a job. Over the course of the Trump presidency, you’re looking at an increase of about 4,000 jobs. For an industry that has somewhere between 80,000 and 140,000 employees… it is positive, but at the great expense of other sectors.”
“All of the border things that we will be building will be done right here in the good old U.S.A. by steel companies that were practically out of business when I came into office as president. And now they’re thriving,” Trump said after meeting with Dems over the gov't shutdown pic.twitter.com/mI2j0O7vtH— POLITICO (@politico) January 4, 2019
Job creation has occurred in the healthcare (50,000 in December) and manufacturing (32,000 in December) industries in the past year, according to the monthly jobs report published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Those jobs created in the manufacturing industry include 7,000 for metal products’ production, and 4,000 in the creation of computers and electronics, something that was lauded by Alliance for American Manufacturing president Scott Paul. He laid the praise at Trump and his administration’s feet.
“With 32,000 new jobs last month, tough action against trade cheats is helping create new jobs for American workers.”
Economists are concerned that despite this, the gains will be extremely vulnerable should Trump’s deal with China come apart, as that would mean increasing tariffs on steel and aluminum, and possibly also tariffs on other Chinese imports.
While the manufacturing industry might currently be experiencing a slight boom, others have had less than complimentary things to say about the trade war. Major industries have been hit hard by the new tariffs imposed by the president, from tech companies to car manufacturers, causing lost jobs and slowing sales.